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Scottish producers fuelling the Games

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment

Blog / Business
Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, blogs on the opportunities to showcase Scotland’s fantastic food and drink at the Commonwealth Games.

There are just days left until the close of the Commonwealth Games, and what a fantastic time it has been! Glasgow has successfully risen to the challenge of hosting the largest event ever staged in Scotland, with an expected global audience of 1.5 billion, and the perfect platform to showcase Scotland’s fantastic food and drink.

‪More than two million meals will be served at the Games - that’s two million opportunities to serve up the finest food and drink Scotland has to offer to athletes, team officials, media and spectators from across the globe.

‪We have an outstanding natural larder with impeccable provenance credentials and the quality of the food and drink produced here is among the best to be found anywhere in the world.

‪Tasty tatties from Angus, fresh salmon from Shetland, juicy strawberries from Perthshire and traditional dairy ice cream from Ayrshire are just some of the world-class products that will feature in Games dishes.

‪The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Food Charter, which I helped launch last year, means the Glasgow 2014 menu will offer local food, where possible, from sustainable and traceable sources offering ethical, safe, and healthy choices.

I was able to see this first hand when I visited the Athletes’ Village dining hall where chefs are preparing 968 recipes a day for athletes. I also got the chance to visit the food and drink showcase of Scottish produce in the international zone of the village.

This Food Charter is the first of its kind and these principles and standards will be at the core of Scotland's journey to becoming a Good Food Nation.

‪They should also serve as the basis for major events in future because as well as the Commonwealth Games, Scotland is hosting the Ryder Cup and celebrating our second Year of Homecoming this year – with 2015 Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

‪Together these represent an unprecedented economic opportunity for Scottish food and drink. It’s anticipated that visitors to Scotland in 2014 will spend almost £33 million on food and drink at events while Scottish food and drink suppliers are benefiting from the fact that more than two thirds of all Games-related contracts, worth a total of £287 million, have gone to Scottish businesses.

‪With an additional 100,000 visitors expected in the three years following the Commonwealth Games it’s clearly crucial that all across Scotland we continue to show off the delicious local produce we have right on our doorstep. We must capitalise on the opportunities that this year has to offer, starting right now with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

‪For many in this industry and others, the preparation for this year started some time ago. It’s great to have been involved in this process, and I have no doubt it will pay off.